Oleksandr Gvozdyk Granted Voluntary Title Defense In March

Marcus Browne may have recently become the mandatory challenger to Oleksandr Gvozdyk's light heavyweight title, but a recent announcement by the WBC could prevent a fight between the two from taking place anytime soon.

In its quarterly report, the governing body announced that Gvozdyk has been approved to make an optional title defense for March. This means Gvozdyk is not obligated to defend his title against Browne as his next fight.

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The 28-year-old Browne became the mandatory challenger to Gvozdyk's title on January 19 when he defeated Badou Jack by unanimous decision in the co-main event of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner pay-per-view card. Browne not only became the WBC's mandatory challenger by winning the WBC Silver title, he also became the interim WBA champion, opening the path for a potential shot at Dmitry Bivol's 175-pound.

But Browne won't get a shot at Bivol's title anytime soon as well because Bivol recently signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing and is set to defend his title next against Joe Smith Jr. That fight will take place on March 9 at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York with DAZN set to stream the fight in the United States.

Gvozdyk won the WBC title back in December when he knocked out Adonis Stevenson late in their fight which was televised on Showtime. That fight, which took place in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, served as the lead-in to the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury pay-per-view event in Los Angeles.

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